Witton Albion 1, Wakefield & Emley 2: DARK clouds rolled across Witton's bright new dawn at Wincham Park on Saturday.
Two impressive wins from two equally impressive performances did not lead to a further brightening of Witton's prospects. Anything but.
Perversely, the gate dropped by 50 or so. Either there were other bank holiday attractions or the stayaways showed remarkable perception.
High expectation of the fans was countered by absentees, and there was little atmosphere, even from a curiously blunt Witton, to lift it.
Wakefield did their job in thorough workmanlike fashion, funnelling men behind the ball to make Witton's attacks laborious. At first it seemed they were being patient, but even a goal against did not alter things and, by the second half, they were all too predictable.
That was until Ian Latham ramrodded a 35-yard shot from Jordan King's short pass infield, and the ball flew home off goalkeeper Danny Trueman's palms.
The goal came as injury time was called and Witton had a glorious chance to equalise when King's well-flighted ball forward found Danny Byrne unattended in front of goal. His control was good but too slow and Paul Staniforth slid in with the saving tackle.
Until then, Witton had hardly threatened. King's rising shot from the edge of the area was the best effort of the first half and Danny Jones brought a fisted save - again from King's searching pass - from Trueman at the start of the second.
Otherwise, Albion shots were mainly from long range and none were kept down.
Wakefield were awarded a penalty in the 40th minute when Tom Spearitt was harshly judged to have fouled Adam Muller, but Jon Kennedy parried James Nestor's spot kick. In came Richard Chattoe on the follow-up only to slide the simple chance wide.
But two minutes later, Steve Kenworthy's cross ricocheted to the far post and Andy Wright volleyed home.
Nestor, who did a super job as Wakefield's lone striker, left Spearitt for dead with a sharp turn in 63 minutes and he sped away to beat the onrushing Kennedy with a low shot.
A promise unfulfilled meant a disappointing day for Witton, whose new central defenders were ill at ease and midfield lacked zip and width. ALBION: Kennedy; King, Pinch, Spearitt, Latham; Maguire (Connors 57), Lally, Lee, Byrne; Moseley, Jones (Peers 69).
Attendance: 258 Star Man: Jordan King, super distribution Next Best: Ben Jones Team Rating: 2 Match Rating: 3